▲ 2023 International Conference on Carbon Neutrality
Chungnam Province, a leader in South Korea's drive towards carbon neutrality, has shared its progress in implementing carbon-neutral policies and future strategies with the global community.
The province hosted the '2023 International Conference on Carbon Neutrality' at the Yesan Splas Resort on the 5th, aimed at identifying effective carbon neutrality agendas and disseminating the outcomes.
The conference, themed 'Carbon Neutrality: Sustainable Strategies and Climate Leadership,' was attended by over 1,000 experts in carbon neutrality from both domestic and international spheres. Notable attendees included Governor Kim Tae-Heum, National Assembly member Hong Moon-Pyo, Provincial Council Chairman Jo Gil-Yeon, Co-Chairman Kim Sang-Hyeop of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Green Growth Committee, Maria Castillo Fernandez, EU Ambassador to South Korea, Philippe Bertoux, French Ambassador to South Korea, Gareth Wier, Deputy Ambassador of the UK to South Korea, and Helen Clarkson, CEO of the Under2 Coalition.
Additionally, Hanwha-Jin, Minister of Environment, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Canadian Climate Ambassador Katherine Stuart, and Abdullah Mokssit, Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), participated through video or online platforms.
The day's event consisted of Governor Kim’s policy announcement, keynote speeches, performances, presentations, and discussions.
In his policy announcement, Governor Kim focused on the province's achievements in carbon neutrality over the past year and future plans. He stated, "Chungnam, home to the highest number of coal-fired power plants in the country, bears the disgrace of being the nation's largest emitter of greenhouse gases." He added, "To realize carbon neutrality, the first step must be a transformative approach to our fossil fuel-based energy supply system and industrial structure."
However, Governor Kim also noted that "merely suppressing emissions vigorously could lead to a vicious cycle of business decline, regional economic stagnation, and job loss. The answer lies in simultaneous advancement of responding to the climate crisis, developing new carbon-neutral technologies, their commercialization, and a rational transition of energy." He elaborated on this while explaining the backdrop of the province's special declaration on a carbon-neutral economy last year.
Governor Kim further elucidated that "solely focusing on stringent emissions reductions can result in a vicious cycle of dampening corporate activities, stalling local economies, and reducing employment opportunities. The solution is to concurrently drive climate crisis response, develop new carbon-neutral technologies, commercialize them, and rationally transition energy supplies." He made these remarks while describing the background for the province's special declaration on a carbon-neutral economy last year.
Following this, he introduced policies based on special strategies for advancing a carbon-neutral economy, which included: △ Developing a hydrogen energy industrial belt to bolster the hydrogen industry △ Hosting 'Municipal Relay Conferences for Spreading Carbon-Neutral Practices' to build consensus and take action on carbon neutrality △ Enhancing international collaboration and coordination.
Governor Kim also described annual efforts to phase out coal-fired power plants within the province, stating, "We will make every effort to enact a 'Special Law to Support Areas Affected by the Coal Power Phase-Out' to ensure that these regions do not suffer socio-economic damages."
In addition, he actively recommended to the central government that "efficient and stable energy sources should be prioritized for installation in areas affected by the coal power phase-out in the national power supply plans."
Governor Kim conveyed his commitment to "also work on spreading a culture of practicing carbon neutrality in daily life."
To achieve this, he announced that "we will propose to the government a legislative mandate for the production of clean products to effectively curb the production of unnecessary single-use items and hard-to-reuse plastic products from the get-go."
Governor Kim emphasized, "The world has had a preview this year of what could happen if efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are unsuccessful. The global climate crisis is not a future issue but a present one, something that is happening right now." He urged collective efforts to achieve carbon neutrality goals.
Following Governor Kim's policy presentation, keynote speeches were delivered by Abdullah Mokssit, Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and Al Armendariz, Industrial Director at the U.S. Energy Analysis Research Institute.
Mokssit stressed the urgency and importance of rapid responses to the severe climate crisis, while Armendariz emphasized the necessity of collaboration between local governments and industrial sectors for realizing carbon neutrality.
The subsequent presentations and discussions were divided into four sessions, covering: △ The role of the industrial sector in achieving carbon neutrality △ Challenges for realizing regional carbon neutrality △ Observation & Technology for greenhouse gas △ Strategies for carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions.
On the second day of the conference, scheduled for the 6th, an Under2 Coalition Asia-Pacific regional forum will be held, along with presentations and discussions focusing on △ The role of local governments △ International cooperation and partnerships.
Department in charge : Carbon Neutrality Policy and Climate Change Response Team
Phone number : 041-635-4421